Putnam Leg. Approves Butterfield Lease for Senior Center
Through all the trials and tribulations that lasted several years, a new and improved senior center is set to come to the Butterfield redevelopment in Philipstown.
The Putnam County Legislature voted to approve a lease agreement between the county and Butterfield developer Paul Guillaro in which Putnam would rent 6,000 square feet in the facility’s Lahey Pavilion that would house a senior center on the west side of the county. Seven legislators voted to approve the lease with Legislators Kevin Wright and Dini LoBue abstaining from the vote.
Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, who represents District 1 where the new senior center would be located, strongly urged other lawmakers to support the agreement. She said the senior center proposal has been discussed for the last three years and now the county has finally come down to a decision.
Seniors in the area are “terribly underserved,” Scuccimarra said, and while the Office for Seniors Resources does its best, it can only do so much in the American Legion where seniors currently congregate.
“We’re very limited in what we can give our seniors,” Scuccimarra said. “So I implore you, all of my fellow legislators to please vote yes on this project and let’s get this done. I cannot go back and face these people and tell them Putnam does not care.”
Legislator Ginny Nacerino said she was comfortable to move forward because the legislature asked all the appropriate questions and done a careful vetting of the lease. Legislature Chairman Carl Albano and Legislator Roger Gross also voiced support in signing the lease.
“This facility and the new building that’s been proposed looks ideal,” Albano said, referring to the county deciding to lease a different location in the redevelopment than originally planned.
While all the numbers and figures weren’t specifically discussed, Gross did mention it would be a five-year renewable lease.
Legislator Kevin Wright abstained because he didn’t receive information that he felt was pertinent; specifically cost savings that were presented on a number of occasions but not detailed.
Albano responded and said by using the Lahey Pavilion instead, it would most likely result in “substantial savings.”
Office for Seniors Resources Pat Sheehy thanked legislators for their vote and said she and other western seniors are “tickled pink” about the thought of a new center for them.
Seniors and other supporters of the new senior center like Cold Spring trustees Cathryn Fadde and Michael Bowman, as well as Cold Spring planning board member Barney Molloy who was chairman during a critical point of the approval process for the redevelopment, all applauded when the lease was approved.
“Some (seniors) who aren’t with us today who said this was never going to happen,” Sheehy said. “And it’s just great to see it happen.”